Is there a distinction between first party and third party insurers?

Nova Scotia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Colman v. AAA Plumbing and Heating Limited, 2020 NSSC 360 (CanLII):

The distinction between first-party and third-party insurers was made clear in Panetta v. Retrocom Mid-Market Real Estate Investment Trust, 2013 ONSC 2386. That case arose from a slip and fall accident at a Walmart. The judge concluded that as soon as the plaintiff fell and was injured, she was in an adversarial position with all of those who were ultimately to become the defendant and their insurers. In third-party claims there is no preliminary investigative phase where privilege does not attach to notes, reports and files of adjusters. The only reason for any investigation on behalf of the third-party insurer was the prospect of litigation. The judge held that it would be “naïve to think otherwise”. The fact that the investigation might be used to reach a pre-lawsuit settlement does not detract from that point. “The prospect of litigation inherently includes the prospect of settlement.” at para. 61.

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